Snguon Lopez is changing the fashion scene in Cambodia. Lopez is putting body shaming to rest and the notion that a bigger body can’t be sexy. The search for stylish plus-size clothing is a struggle in Cambodia with petite body types being idealized. Lopez is using her recourses to make a change in the fashion industry in Cambodia by adding a variety of fashionable looks for women with a little extra to hold on to. Find out how Snguon Lopez is starting ‘Fat Story’ her plus-size clothing store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Hi Snguon, how did you come up for the idea for Fat Story?
SL: The idea for opening Fat Story is because I thought about girls in Cambodia and even a few foreigners, it is hard to find plus size fashion. So when I went to Thailand and saw plus size people and the many options for plus size fashion, I wanted to bring those opportunities to Cambodia. I want women here to be able to find clothes to be confident in, and in turn be more confident in themselves.
Is it going to be an online store or a walk-in store?
SL: First step is to go online and then the next step, if we have a lot of customers, is to open a small shop.
When are you thinking about opening Fat Story?
SL: Right now, I am concerned with how the public is reacting. I want to see how many girls are interested, and then see if this is something that I can expand. So at the moment I’m looking at the demographic and interest to then move forward from there. If I see positive feedback, I will look into the percentage of women who want plus-size fashion in Cambodia and go from there.
Who is choosing the style and designing the clothes?
SL: At the beginning we will import clothes from Thailand. In the future if the business increases, we will want to work with a designer for original pieces to have in the showroom.
What has been one of the biggest struggles or hurdles so far in this process of starting a business?
SL: Just a few problems with importing fashion, but other than that it has been going really well. We have made connections with stores in Thailand and some have given special discounts because they are supportive of what I am starting and want to be a part of it.
Will the store only hold larger sizes or smaller sizes as well?
SL: Yes, fat story will only hold plus size clothing; large and up.
I know a lot of Khmer women who have been looking for something like this and are eager to see it in Cambodia, what kind of feedback have you gotten so far?
SL: After posting it on Facebook, I have already received customers interested in prices and the style of the clothes. People have been sending private messages saying they are ashamed of their weight and are intrigued by what we are doing and what clothes we have to offer. It’s also more than just clothes; it’s about having a positive environment where women can feel happy and confident. Plus size women are sexy too!
What is your dream? What would you like to see this evolve into?
SL: In the future, I want this to encourage plus size people to not be ashamed anymore to attend the party, birthday party, or wedding; to go out and be happy! I want them to know they look good and to in turn feel good within.